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#ThanksCOVID Part 2: The Future of the Anchor
This is Part 2 of our #ThanksCOVID/BigNews for 2020 series. In the last part, Charlie discussed how the events of 2020 led to us hiring Steve, Osheyana, and Anthony.
I’ll add my own #ThanksCOVID to his and say that I now cannot imagine a team without these three amazing people. Blessings in the dark, for sure.
And, isn’t that the perfect segue into telling you about our Anchor news?
While the Academy was the through-line to explain how we ended up with the amazing souls that are Steve, Osheyana, and Anthony, the Anchor project we kicked off in March was just as catalytic, if not more, than the Academy.
I have already written about the public evolution of the Anchor, but I’ll also catch you up here. When the pandemic hit hard here in the U.S., we decided that we’d write a daily post to give some light, inspiration, and support to our community in the darkness of those times. We thought the posts helped people stay grounded; it anchored people back to their strength and inner self so we called it the Daily Anchor.
The intent was that Charlie and I would each contribute a couple of posts a week and that a teammate or community member would fill out the fifth one. That worked for a month or so and then it became clear that Charlie needed to prioritize differently.
Because I’m me (shy grin) and I’m all about picking up the slack, I was the creator of nearly all of the daily posts until August, when we switched from “The Daily Anchor” to “The Anchor.” Since I was doing the majority of the writing for the Anchor and Charlie also wasn’t writing, our community (and team) started identifying the Anchor with my writing, so much so that they became Angela’s Anchors.
Charlie chimes in: It’s been amazing seeing Angela’s work blossom. She’s gone from occasionally writing for PF to being a consistent presence, so now I’m not in the awkward place of always having to tell and remind y’all how soulful, brilliant, real, and supportive she is — you get to see it. She’s been that since the beginning of PF and so many of the posts with my name on them came from conversations with her (and vice versa).
But something we’ve been grappling with internally is the difference between Anchor posts and my posts. Again, because her voice and work are so unique and different from mine, it became weird to call my writing “Anchors.” In a recent discussion with Steve about our posting schedule and needs for 2021, he floated the idea of keeping the Anchor post as a “type” of regular offering, yet different from a "standard" PF post. I replied, "I think Angela would be confused by the distinction between a standard PF post from her and an Anchor post," which turned out to be exactly right.
From the beginning, the way we framed the Anchor gave her permission to write her way and a real reason to do so. A challenge we’ve always dealt with is that she’s gauged whether her writing was good and valuable based on the way I write and the topics I natively write about, despite me telling her oh so many times that, in many respects, the way she writes and what she writes about may be even better than what I do. The sheer number of email responses y’all send to her (as opposed to what I get) proves my point.
After nearly 100 posts in the span of about eight months, it’s undeniable that Angela’s voice and body of work is resonant, needed, appreciated, and needs to remain as an “anchor” in the regular flow of posts. She’s also unlocked her writing practice and now can’t stop writing.
But, going forward, there won’t be a separate and distinct Anchor — there’ll just be posts from Angela. You’ll still get them at about the same rate and in the same way, so you don’t need to do anything different than you’re already doing.
We started the Anchor as a project in response to COVID-19. What it evolved into is Angela becoming a regular, major, public voice at PF.
And back to Angela: Charlie, thank you for seeing the best of me, even when I wasn’t able to see it for myself, and for calling it out publicly.
For those of you who are familiar with or have read a fair number of the Anchors and Daily Anchors you know that there are a few themes that run through many of them: finding light in the dark; self-care and self-acceptance; working through fear; love and trust; and standing in your power. What has also run through most all of those posts was a vulnerability, so wouldn’t it be unlike me to not get vulnerable again here? ;-)
My historic pattern has been to shy away from praise, but in my process of learning about myself through writing the Anchor this year, I know in all truth that I have shied away from it because I thought I was not worthy. And (I think this is actually the truest of all), if the light was shown my way, I would then have a standard to live up to.
This is the scariest share for me yet. Here goes: shine that light over here, I will stand in it, I will keep showing up and doing my work because I want that for myself, and I want to be part of the collective of strong, big-hearted people who are making our world better. You will be seeing more of me. You will be hearing more from me. I’m ready. I’m scared out of my mind but I’m going to do it anyway.
That seems like a damn good way to end the Anchor! I can’t wait to keep creating with and for all of you.
In the next part of this series, Charlie will share the other voice and content that you’ll see more of going forward. Stay tuned!